On this day in 1620, 41 male passengers on the Mayflower, prior to landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, signed the Mayflower Compact, by which they agreed to abide by the laws of the new government they would establish.
document signed by 41 of the male passengers on the Mayflower prior to their landing at Plymouth, Mass. The compact resulted from the fear that some members of the company might leave the group and settle on their own. The Mayflower Compact bound the signers into a body politic for the purpose of forming a government and pledged them to abide by any laws and regulations that would later be established.
The document was not a constitution but rather an adaptation of the usual church covenant to a civil situation. It became the foundation of Plymouth’s government.